3-0 Draft Analysis

Posted in Event Coverage on May 12, 2017

By Frank Karsten

After three rounds, 47 players had managed to escape from the first Draft portion with pristine 3-0 records.

Among the 3-0 drafters were (from left) Christian Calcano, Travis Woo, Shota Yasooka, and Owen Turtenwald, all of whom were near the top of the Draft Master standings going into this Pro Tour.

Naturally, we were interested in all the 3-0 decks, their color combinations, and their card choices. I ran the numbers and turned it into an analysis extravaganza.

What was the most popular color among 3-0 drafters?

At the Grand Prix last weekend, aggression was the name of the game. For example, Kelvin Chew drafted a deck with five Cartouche of Zeals in the Top 8 of Grand Prix Beijing, and Martin Dang second-picked Bloodlust Inciter in the Top 8 of Grand Prix Richmond.

Here in Nashville, many of the pros were still into brutally aggressive black-red heckbent (built around having one or fewer cards in hand) and red-white aggro (with small exert creatures) decks.

Main Color Number of 3-0 Decks
White 23
Black 23
Red 23
Blue 13
Green 12

As you can see, white, black, and red were responsible for the majority of the 3-0 decks. As a note, small splashes for three cards or fewer were rare, and I excluded them from the color analysis—only the two main colors were taken into account.

Color Combination Number of 3-0 Decks
Black-Red (Heckbent) 10
Red-White (Aggro) 8
White-Black (Zombies) 7
White-Blue (Embalm) 6
Black-Green (-1/-1 Counters) 4
Green-Blue (Ramp) 3
Red-Green (Monsters) 3
Green-White (Exert) 2
Blue-Black (Cycling) 2
Blue-Red (Spells) 2

What were the most-played main deck commons among 3-0 drafters?

We saw a lot of early drops and black removal spells among the 3-0 Draft decks.

Common Total number of copies in all 3-0 decks
Splendid Agony 22
Blighted Bat 19
Cartouche of Ambition 19
Emberhorn Minotaur 19
Unwavering Initiate 18
Nef-Crop Entangler 18
Fan Bearer 17
Miasmic Mummy 16
Final Reward 15
Manticore of the Gauntlet 15
Soulstinger 14
Wander in Death 14
Gust Walker 13
Tah-Crop Elite 12
Cursed Minotaur 12
Doomed Dissenter 12
Horror of the Broken Lands 12
Bloodlust Inciter 12
Minotaur Sureshot 12
Binding Mummy 11
Cartouche of Solidarity 11
Djeru's Resolve 11
Sparring Mummy 11
Wasteland Scorpion 11
Desert Cerodon 11
Pathmaker Initiate 11
Thresher Lizard 11
Compulsory Rest 10
Those Who Serve 10
Cartouche of Knowledge 10
Hekma Sentinels 10
Supernatural Stamina 10
Cartouche of Zeal 10
Electrify 10
Initiate's Companion 10
Honed Khopesh 10

Note that these numbers the total number among all decks, so if a deck had three copies of Splendid Agony, then that contributed three copies to this statistic.

As far as the uncommons were concerned, Ahn-Crop Crasher was by far the most popular card among 3-0 decklists, with thirteen copies total.

And if you were wondering what the best rares and mythic rares in the format are, then I don't have a definite answer, but I can at least tell you that the following ones had at least four combined copies among the 3-0 decklists:

  • Regal Caracal
  • [Never] [//] [Return]
  • Gideon of the Trials
  • Liliana's Mastery
  • Glorybringer
  • [Commit] [//] [Memory]
  • [Cut] [//] [Ribbons]
  • Oracle's Vault

How many lands did the 3-0 drafters run?

Another topic that had come up at the previous weekend's Limited Grand Prix events was the correct number of lands. With cheap cycling spells allowing players to cheat on lands and hardly any double-colored cards to constrain mana bases, many players felt comfortable with 8-8 mana bases.

Nevertheless, just about as many of the 3-0 drafters opted for the tried-and-true 17 lands. The average number of lands was 16.53.

Who were the 3-0 drafters and what were their first picks?

To support the coverage at this Pro Tour, players were asked to write their first pick in each pack on their deck registration sheets. Here are the three first picks and the names of all the 3-0 drafters.

Name Pack 1, Pick 1 Pack 2, Pick 1 Pack 3, Pick 1
Allen Wu Curator of Mysteries Cartouche of Strength Labyrinth Guardian
Brad Nelson Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons Magma Spray Fan Bearer
Cain Rianhard Gideon of the Trials Lord of the Accursed Oketra's Monument
Chris Fennell Gravedigger Shefet Monitor Liliana's Mastery
Chris Grimshaw Magma Spray Final Reward Baleful Ammit
Christian Calcano Glory-Bound Initiate Cast Out Vizier of Remedies
Daniel Grafensteiner Emberhorn Minotaur Ahn-Crop Crasher Trial of Solidarity
Derek Pite Ahn-Crop Crasher Honored Hydra Heaven // Earth
Eduardo Sajgalik Commit // Memory Shimmerscale Drake Honored Hydra
Eric Froehlich Merciless Javelineer Bone Picker Cruel Reality
Evart Moughon Regal Caracal Decimator Beetle Splendid Agony
Gabriel Nassif Trial of Zeal Trial of Zeal Battlefield Scavenger
Gerard Fabiano Trial of Ambition Galestrike Glorybringer
Jacob Wilson Cut // Ribbons Cursed Minotaur Glorybringer
Jason Chung Drake Haven Liliana, Death's Majesty Pitiless Vizier
Jelger Wiegersma Glorybringer Lay Claim Cartouche of Knowledge
Joel Larsson Trial of Solidarity Regal Caracal Sweltering Suns
John Wasson Glyph Keeper Ornery Kudu Angler Drake
Josh McClain Nef-Crop Entangler Nef-Crop Entangler Ahn-Crop Crasher
Kazuaki Fujimura Cut // Ribbons Never // Return Ahn-Crop Crasher
Kazuhiro Kamata




Ken Yukuhiro Final Reward Blighted Bat Pathmaker Initiate
Kentaro Yamamoto Plague Belcher Final Reward Brute Strength
Magnus Lantto Synchronized Strike Pull from Tomorrow Supply Caravan
Marc Tobiasch Crocodile of the Crossing Oketra's Monument Pouncing Cheetah
Matti Kuisma Insult // Injury Quarry Hauler Exemplar of Strength
Michael Majors Compulsory Rest Trueheart Duelist Cartouche of Knowledge
Mu Huaiyuan Plague Belcher Angel of Sanctions Start // Finish
Oliver Oks Cartouche of Strength Cartouche of Strength Emberhorn Minotaur
Owen Turtenwald Cut // Ribbons Cursed Minotaur Regal Caracal
Panagiotis Papadopoulos Never // Return Tah-Crop Elite Bone Picker
Patrick Dickmann Liliana's Mastery Unwavering Initiate Never // Return
Pedro Carvalho Liliana's Mastery Magma Spray Cartouche of Ambition
Pierre Dagen Lord of the Accursed Lord of the Accursed Trueheart Duelist
Raymond Perez Crocodile of the Crossing Scaled Behemoth Curator of Mysteries
Robert Lombardi Sweltering Suns Mouth // Feed Prowling Serpopard
Samuel Pardee Glorybringer Emberhorn Minotaur Bloodrage Brawler
Scott Lipp Ruthless Sniper Cartouche of Ambition Stir the Sands
Seth Manfield Oketra's Monument Lord of the Accursed Edifice of Authority
Shota Yasooka Vizier of Many Faces Splendid Agony Final Reward
Timothy Cheng Emberhorn Minotaur Trial of Ambition Unwavering Initiate
Travis Woo Angel of Sanctions Gust Walker Gust Walker
Viktors Kazanskis Glyph Keeper Angler Drake Essence Scatter
William Postlethwait Cast Out Fan Bearer Oketra's Attendant
Yusuf Kemal Vefa Gideon of the Trials Vizier of Deferment Gust Walker
Yuuya Watanabe Never // Return Bontu the Glorified Unwavering Initiate
Zachary Plott Trial of Ambition Vizier of the Menagerie Merciless Javelineer


What does an exemplar decklist look like for each color pair?

To give you an idea of how certain archetypes might look like, we have an arbitrary 3-0 decklist for each two-color combination. The first lists that we show is for black-red—the most popular archetype—and then we go down descending order of popularity among 3-0 decklists.

Kentaro Yamamoto's Black-Red—3-0 at Pro Tour Amonkhet

Download Arena Decklist

Brad Nelson's Red-White—3-0 at Pro Tour Amonkhet

Download Arena Decklist

Pierre Dagen's White-Black—3-0 at Pro Tour Amonkhet

Download Arena Decklist

Christian Calcano's White-Blue—3-0 at Pro Tour Amonkhet

Download Arena Decklist

Evart Moughon's Black-Green—3-0 at Pro Tour Amonkhet

Download Arena Decklist

Raymond Perez's Green-Blue—3-0 at Pro Tour Amonkhet

Download Arena Decklist

Derek Pite's Red-Green—3-0 at Pro Tour Amonkhet

Download Arena Decklist

Marc Tobiasch's Green-White—3-0 at Pro Tour Amonkhet

Download Arena Decklist

Shota Yasooka's Blue-Black—3-0 at Pro Tour Amonkhet

Download Arena Decklist

Viktors Kazanskis's Blue-Red—3-0 at Pro Tour Amonkhet

Download Arena Decklist

Study up on the info compiled here and you might be on your way to going 3-0 in your next Amonkhet draft!

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